Tuesday, September 11 15:36:45
U.S. stocks edged higher today as investors stayed in a holding pattern ahead of possible policy action from the Federal Reserve and a key decision by a German court.
Investors may be wary of making big bets on risky assets ahead of a trio of key events later in the week, which could greatly affect markets. The S and P 500 slipped 0.6 percent on Monday as investors locked in gains on a recent rally but remains near levels not seen in over four years.
"There is a lot of stuff out there that people are waiting on right now, a lot of jockeying going on," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois. Germany's Constitutional Court on Wednesday is expected to approve the European Stability Mechanism -- the euro zone's new bailout fund -- but legal experts believe it will impose tough conditions limiting Berlin's flexibility on future rescues.
Investors also were awaiting a decision by the Federal Reserve on any additional stimulus measures when the central bank announces its policy decision at the conclusion of a two-day meeting on Thursday.
Equities have rallied on expectations for fresh stimulus measures from central banks, with economists forecasting a 60 percent chance the Fed will announce another round of quantitative easing.
Another event which could cause turbulence in markets is a Dutch general election on Wednesday, with voters divided between bailouts for troubled euro zone economies and austerity measures locally. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 35.55 points, or 0.27 percent, to 13,289.84. The Standard and Poor's 500 Index added 2.10 points, or 0.15 percent, to 1,431.18. The Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 0.95 points, or 0.03 percent, to 3,104.98. (C ) Reuters